New Leeds United signings ‘unlikely’ before deadline

DESPITE hopes of further additions by Leeds United before the closure of the January transfer window receding, Steve Evans insists he has been fully backed by Massimo Cellino in his attempts to strengthen.
Leeds United's head coach Steve Evans. Picture: Jonathan GawthorpeLeeds United's head coach Steve Evans. Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe
Leeds United's head coach Steve Evans. Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe

Three new faces have arrived at Elland Road since the turn of the year but further additions were rated yesterday as “unlikely” by the club’s owner.

Evans had been tracking Norwich City striker Kyle Lafferty and Tom Rogic, the Celtic midfielder, but has admitted that hopes of adding at least one more player to a squad that lost Sam Byram last week are “slipping away”.

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“I heard ‘unlikely’,” said Evans when asked about Cellino’s remarks earlier in the day. “He takes control of the financial situation so he knows where we are. When he says it is unlikely, he may feel that one or two things are slipping away from us. We will see where we go.

“The president was still working (on a deal) on Tuesday night. Sometimes you make a bid and it is not quickly accepted.

“My understanding is that we have got negotiations going on several fronts.

“The president knows what stage they are at and if he thinks it is slipping then it would be unlikely.”

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Chris Wood’s recurrence of a hamstring problem has underlined how stretched United are in terms of strikers, hence why Evans has been so keen to bring Lafferty in. Attempts to bring in both Fraizer Campbell, from Crystal Palace and Barnsley’s Sam Winnall have both been rejected.

However, Evans is adamant that even if United fail to strengthen the squad further before Monday’s 11pm deadline, he has been backed by Cellino in the transfer market.

“One hundred per cent I have been supported by the president,” said the Scot. “There is no question of that.

“Would I be disappointed if we don’t add from now? Yes. But have I been backed. Are we trying to get the players in who I have given on a sheet of paper? Yes.

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“I am a supporter, too, so the level of disappointment for them would be the same for me. I am under no illusions I have to win matches. Signing good players gives me a chance to do that.”

Wood is a major doubt for tomorrow’s FA Cup fourth round tie at Bolton Wanderers, but Alex Mowatt is back.